2 dead in cheese-linked listeriosis outbreak

Six people have been hospitalized — two of whom have died — in four states due to a listeriosis outbreak caused by soft raw milk cheese, according to the CDC.

The outbreak started in September 2016 and health officials believe raw milk cheese made by Vulto creamery in Walton, N.Y., is the likely culprit. The outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes that sickened the six people was found in samples taken from wheels of cheese collected from Vulto Creamery. As of March 10, the cheese manufacturer has recalled all lots of eight types of cheese.

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Listeria can cause serious and life-threatening illness in those infected. It is more likely to sicken pregnant women, their newborns, adults 65 years old or older and people with weakened immune systems. In this outbreak, one infant was hospitalized.

Listeria takes refuge in several food sources, including soft cheese, raw sprouts, melons, cold cuts and smoked seafood. In 2015, a major Listeria outbreak that affected hospital patients was linked to contaminated ice cream.

Find more information on Listeria here.

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